J. Walter Thompson Vice President - John U. Reber and Kraft Music Hall Singer - Milena M. Miller
Some items that came into my collection as trash from near an abandoned house.
The following are some of the items and the results of searching online for who these people were.
02-14-2010... This is still a raw notes page! Links are all other people's sites.
Several years back when I first tried to figure out who these people were, I could only find the company.
Now with Google News archive and Google Books scan results there is an overwhelming wealth of information out there!
There are 5 people in the photos.
Based on the results of an extensive online search, they appear to be:
1. John U. Reber, former V.P. of J. Walter Thompson advertising company.
2. John's second wife Milena Mae Miller Reber, Miss NYC '43 and famed Kraft Music Hall Singer
3. Milena's sister Mildred Miller Sonnanstine
4. John's daughter by his first wife Annie Chadwick Reber, married four times including to grandson of co-founder of J&L steel and to a direct descendant of Charles Carroll of Carrollton.
5. John's first son by Milena Richard John Reber, Democratic Committeeman from the late 1970's - early/mid 1980's

John Uhrich Reber was born Oct. 6, 1893. He graduated Reading High School in 1910, Phillips-Exeter Academy in 1912, and Amherst College in 1916.
John went to to work for J. Walter Thompson in 1916 (as an accounts manager?)
John Uhrich Reber and Helen Chadwick Hutchins (b.~1895) married December 30, 1916.
John served as a Coxswain United States Naval Reserve Force in WWI sometime after that.
For three years after WWI he was in charge of the London office for the New York Firm. He was associated with the firm at least through 1936.
Also after returning from WWI John went back to work for J. Walter Thompson.
In 1929 John moved up to head of Radio marketing. John went against the convention thought that advertising has no place on the radio.
At the time when John was in charge of advertising, the broadcasters did not do their own advertising.
By 1936, John was JWT's Vice President and JWT sponsered major broadcasting periods on the air and developed programs which starred
Major Bowes, Eddie Cantor, Burns and Allen, etc. JWT did advertising for NBC, ABC and CBS.
Kraft Music Hall, sponsered by Kraft Foods, was one of the many advertising outlets that John worked on.
The list of future stars who made their start on Kraft is a long one. John's career spanned from radio into TV.
A 1942 JWT / Kodak V-Mail
LIFE advertisement?

(image from E-bay listing)
Milena Mae Miller was born Feb 20 1922 in Mansfield Ohio. Milena's sister Mildred was born a year later, Mar 17 1923.
In 1943 Milena was crowned Miss NYC and was third runner up in the Miss USA pageant that year.
During the remainder of WWII she traveled on War Bond tours.
As early as 8/1945 she shows up as a regular on the Kraft Music Hall program.

Sometime after January in 1926 John and his first wife had a daughter Annie C Reber.
Ann attended Madeira Scholl in VA. In 1945 Ann graduated from Madeira and her mother also passed away November 15 1945.
Ann attended Columbia University and went to be a fashion model for Vogue, Harper's Bazaar, Mademoiselle, Seventeen, and other magazines.
Ann was also an artist and became a social acquaintance of Andy Warhol when Bobby Short introduced her to Andy to help him find ink.
Ann was married to 4 different husbands.
1. Thomas Shackelford Hemenway Jr Jun 21, 1947. Divorced prior to May 1950.
2. Philip Acosta Carroll Jr.(10/14/1925-05/16/2006), direct descendant of Charles Carroll of Carrollton in Virginia, before May 12, 1950. Divorced prior to 1952.
3. Frederick Holdship Jones the grandson of J&L steel's co-founder (< 1952? - < 1956?). Ann had a son with Jones in 1952.
4. James Stuart Brown III on April 22, 1956. Her son took Brown's surname.
He is online as Michael Westcott Brown and is currently married to Minta Brown. Both are involved with Pittsburg area history.
Ann died January 31, 2006.

John remarried to Milena Miller March 19, 1948 at Edgar Bergen's Hollywood home.
Milena put her career on hold to become a mother. On Mar 27 1949 she gave birth to Richard J. Reber. On Apr 15 1954 she had a second son Chris.
John came home to Sinking Spring and passed away on July 2 1955. He left a void at work and at home.

In 1958 Milena was presented with John's posthumous induction into the (Broadcasting? / Broadcast?) Pioneers Hall of fame
seated between Cecil B. Demille and Bob Hope.
Milena moved to 728 Wyomissing Blvd in town in September 1958. She was active in local talent shows including the PTA show.
By February 7, 1964 life had taken it's toll on Milena's spirit and she committed suicide in her garage.
Chris was home with Milena and perished from the gases in the house.
Richard was away at McDonogh School military academy in MD. Milena left all of John and her estate to Chris and Richard.
It took several years to settle the estate.

Richard graduated from McDonogh and went on to Franklin and Marshall College in Lancaster.
Richard received $50k in 1970 for the portion of the farm that was taken for Tulpehocken Creek Valley Park.
By 1980 the farm's acreage was down to 240. From 1972-1974 Richard worked for Benton and Bowles advertising agency in New York.
By 1979 Richard was already involved in politics. He was a Democratic Committeeman and campaigning for Edward Kennedy.
This political activeness continued at least through 1984.
Richard married Irina V Diatlikova in Aug 1994. She is currently a local artist in Berks County.
Somewhere after that he lived at 588 Springhill Rd Saint Paul, MN. The area code for the address was implemented in 1998.
Richard owned and operated Papermill Road Productions up until the time of his death.
Richard died at home in Sinking Spring March 26, 1998.
Reber homestead deed changed Nov 24, 1999.

Mildred Miller was a pilot for the women’s U. S. Air Force in WWII.
Mildred Miller married Thomas “Bud” Sonnanstine Jr. in Nov 1947 and stayed married until his death in 1982.
She had three childred in the 1950's. One of her children, Stephanie Schertzer contributed info and pics to
Marion County By Stuart J. Koblentz, Marion County Historical Society which is listed in the References below.
Stephanie's son Thomas W. Schertzer and his wife Karen R Schertzer drowned in lake Erie in 1997.
Mildred died September 23, 2009.

Determining a date for when the pictures from the trash I have were taken....
1. John is still alive, making the pics taken before July 2 1955.
2. Richard John is a small child, making the pics taken after March 27 1949 + 2-4 years (1951-1953)
3. There is no sign of Chris. Milena doesn't appear pregnant. So it is either 1953 before Chris or 1955 right before John died.
4. Mildred appears pregnant / in maternity clothes. She had two children within a year of Richard's birth and one 2-4 years later. This would put the pics somewhere around late 1952 - early 1953.
5. In the color slide, Richard appears to be the same age as in the other pics. He is playing with a train. Christmas 1952?

Milena Mae Miller (Reber)
Blue background images are internet images. Brown background images were found in the trash.

Richard John Reber
Blue background images are internet images. Brown background images were found in the trash.
similar to train set building
similar to train set power supply

John Uhrich Reber and Mildred Miller Sonnanstine
Blue background images are internet images. Brown background images were found in the trash.

Annie Chadwick Reber
Blue background images are internet images. Brown background images were found in the trash.

Milena's 728 Wyomissing residence and Reber Farms Homestead
Blue background images are internet images. Brown background images were found in the trash.
Milena Committed suicide in this garage in 1964.
The same garage burned in 2009 on John Reber & Helen Hutchins 93rd anniversary.
The Reber Homestead on Rebers Bridge Rd.
Overall view of the Homestead and farm buildings.
The abandoned house on Papermill Rd, with Richard Reber's name on the tax map.
This would be the summer house mentioned in some of the articles on the Rebers.


Pittsburg Post Gazzette - Dec 23, 1943 (Leo Durocher has a new pet, Milena Miller who sings at the Cassblanca)
CBI Roundup - December 7, 1944 (Milena "stacks up" against other pinups)
Toledo Blade - Apr 26, 1945 (Milena Miller, singer, strikes a fetching pose)
The Miami News - Nov 19, 1945 (Milena Miller (ex-Miss New York), at the Cotillion Room)
The Miami News - Oct 16, 1946 (Milena as part of Kraft Music Hall)
Ottawa Citizen - Sep 27, 1946 (Citizen's Radio Editor Claude C. Hammerston's critisicm of Milena's voice)
LIFE Feb 17, 1947 (Milena Miller at El Borracho's)
The Montreal Gazette - May 23, 1947 (Lucile Ball and Milena Miller)

Amherst graduates' quarterly, Volume 11 (Class officer John U. Reber appointed editor of class publication 1916)
Billboard Dec 25, 1943 (Milena Miss New York 1943)
Billboard Oct 11, 1947 (Kraft Music Hall 1947 etc)
Billboard Dec 13, 1947 (Milena Miller Drink-O-Mat promotion)
Billboard April 10, 1948 (John Reber - Milena Miller - Marriage March 19, 1948)
Radio voices: American broadcasting, 1922-1952 By Michele Hilmes
Reading Eagle - Dec 18, 1895 (John Reber 305 Washington Street Christmas wish list.)
Reading Eagle - Sep 13, 1943 (Milena Mae Miller 19 and blonde fourth in Miss USA)
Reading Eagle - Oct 18, 1955 (John Reber's death, list of immedate family. Also shows Pam Ulrich - Miss PA)
Reading Eagle - Oct 4, 1936 (John Reber's Schooling, WWI service, and JWT carrer)
Reading Eagle - Jan 9, 1951 (Al Jolson's stepmother dies at 80 years.)
Reading Eagle - Apr 11, 1958 (John Reber Broadcasting Hall of Fame, Milena accepting)
Reading Eagle - Dec 16, 1958 (Reber Farms John and Milena's radio career etc.)
Reading Eagle - Apr 19, 1959 (Milena PTA and move into town)
Reading Eagle - Dec 22, 1959 (5 yr old Chris Reber Sledding Accident)
Reading Eagle - Feb 7, 1964 (Milena's suicide also Marriage at Edgar Bergen's home)
Reading Eagle - Feb 8, 1964 (funeral arrangements for Milena and Chris)
Gettysburg Times - Feb 12, 1964 (Milena left half of estate to Chris. Milena was Miss NYC 1943)
Reading Eagle - Apr 7, 1965 (Milena M. Reber estate settled(closed?) Richard John Reber was a minor)
Reading Eagle - Mar 18, 1970 (Richard Reber awarded $50K taken to make Tulpenhocken Creek Valley Park)
Reading Eagle - Oct 14, 1979 - Rally for Kennedy held at Richard J. Reber's farm
Reading Eagle - Feb 3, 1980 (Richard J. Reber for deligate)
Reading Eagle - Jun 21, 1981 (Richard J. Reber opposing Cross-filing)
Reading Eagle - Mar 5, 1982 (Antiques stolen from Richard J. Reber's home Rebers Bridge Rd Sinking Spring R D 5)
Reading Eagle - Mar 21, 1984 (Richard Reber commenting on Randy L. Pyle and John A. Stopper)
Reading Eagle - May 30, 1998 (bergergirls.com sources on Richard J. Reber (Richard's death))
Reading Eagle - Oct 25, 2009 (Transactions for Oct. 25, 2009)
Reading Eagle - Dec 30, 2009 (garage fire 12-30-2009 at 728 wyomissing)

Amherst College biographical record, 1963; biographical record of the ... By Amherst College
Internet Archive's "The Shoemaker family of Shoemakersville, Pennsylvania, 1682-1909"
Internet Archive's "Genealogy of the Reber family descended from Johan Bernhard Reber, 1738"
Kathy Jo & Mary Alice Berger's Strausstown Roots - Richard John Reber
Kathy Jo & Mary Alice Berger's Strausstown Roots - John U Reber
Tulpehocken Settlement Historical Society - Richard J. REBER
Tulpehocken Settlement Historical Society - John Urich REBER
Tulpehocken Creek Valley Park, Reading, PA
Gayle Reber

Madeira School (Ann Chadwick Reber Death notice)

WikiPedia (Andy Warhol)
WikiPedia (Benjamin Franklin Jones (Pittsburgh))
WikiPedia (Bob Hope)
WikiPedia (Bobby Short)
WikiPedia (Cecil B. DeMille)
WikiPedia (Charles Carroll of Carrollton)
WikiPedia (Edgar Bergen)
WikiPedia (Jones & Laughlin Steel Company)
WikiPedia (Kraft Music Hall)
WikiPedia (Leo Durocher)
WikiPedia (Reber)
New York Times - February 9, 1947, Sunday (Ann C. Reber Marriage in June to Thomas Shackelford Hemenway Jr.)
New York Times - Jun 22, 1947 ("T.8.HEMENWAYJR., AM REBER MARRY; 13 Attendants Serve Couple at …")
New York Times - May 12, 1950, Friday (Ann C. Reber Marriage to Philip Carroll in Virginia)
New York Times - Apr 22, 1956 ("Ann Reber JONES married to John Stuart Brown III")
New York Times - Mar 16, 1958 ("Mrs. Clelia D. Le Boutillier Will Be Wed To Philip Carroll, Alumnus...")
New York Times - Jun 12, 1958 ("Mrs. Le Boutillier Rewed in Riverdale")
New York Times - Jan 27, 1960 ("Mrs. Snow to Remarry / Mr. Jones - Ann C. Reber divorced.")
New York Times - Jan 29, 1960 ("Mrs. Snow Is Wed To Frederick Jones January 29, 1960, Friday")
New York Times - December 12, 1982 (Michael Westcott BROWN - Mary VANN ODOM Marriage: 14 May 1983)
New York Times - March 25, 2005 (Bobby Short's Death Notice)
New York Times - May 15, 2005 (James Stuart Brown III's death notice)
New York Times - January 31, 2006 (Annie Reber's death notice)
Berks Arts Council's artist directory includes Irina V. Diatlikova

MikesCaife (Kraft Music Hall)

Calfkiller Old Time Radio Archives (mp3's of Kraft Music Hall)
File name: Kraft Music Hall 47-10-02 (254) Guest - Edgar Bergen and Charlie McCarthy.mp3
Download link: Kraft Music Hall 47-10-02 (254) Guest - Edgar Bergen and Charlie McCarthy.mp3 (Milena sings)

Miss America 1940's
Miss America Titleholders 1921-1958 (Milena Miss NYC 1943)
Museum of Family History (Al Jolson and his Friends)
Museum of Family History (Al Jolson and Milena Miller 1947)
Mo and Mammy: 1927 | Shorpy Historic Photo Archive (Al Jolson's parents and brother)

Radio Gold Index (The Kraft Music Hall including Milena Singing performances starting Aug 9, 1945)
Ann Sothern and Maisie
tipsontables.com (Cotillion Room)

I buy old trains (similar to Richard's train set building)
I buy old trains (similar to Richard's train set power supply)
Radio voices: American broadcasting, 1922-1952 By Michele Hilmes (John Reber going against NBC etc popular thought)
Hope in a jar: (John Reber, Speech to American Manufacturers of Toilet Goods)
Slide Share (John Reber going against dominant aganecies and putting advertising on the radio)
Duke U's Library (JWT History)
Uncommon Grounds the History of Coffee (Reber getting Maxwell House in 1922)
Film Reference - RADIO GOES HOLLYWOOD (J. Walter Thompson Co.)
Timothy D. Taylor's article 1 on UCLA's ECHO online music journal site.
Timothy D. Taylor's article 4 on UCLA's ECHO online music journal site.
1936-1937 Season with the Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra (John Reber commenting on Bing Crosby)

Marion County By Stuart J. Koblentz, Marion County Historical Society (Thomas and Mildred Sonnanstine's "MODERN"residence 1950)
The Cleveland News Index (Thomas W. Schertzer and Karen R Schertzer drowned in 1997)
The Cleveland News Index (Karen R Schertzer drowned in 1997)
Wapedia (Representative John Reber - February 1, 1858 - September 26, 1931)
Snyder Funeral Homes - September 23, 2009 (Milena's sister Mildred Miller Sonnanstine's obituary)
charityblossom.org (Mildred Miller Sonnanstine's grandchildren's schollarship)
Carroll DNA project e-mail. (Ann C. Reber's husband, Philip Acosta Carroll, direct descendant of Charles Carroll of Carrollton.)
Ann Chadwick Reber Caroll Jones Brown obituary in SeaCoastOnline February 1, 2006.
Maine Antique Digest article by Rose Safran about Ann's Auction and connection to Andy Warhol
Auction of Ann (Reber) Brown's estate, July 15, 2006 in York Maine by Hap Moore.

Reber summer home near State Hill
40.364923, -76.007946
3312 Papermill Rd

Richard J. Reber (Tax Map 2009)
City-data.com (Richard J. Reber $250 to Edward Kennedy for President 1979/1980)
Marianne Metzger - Contract Manager at City of Portland, OR
American House Hotel (Christopher Madara's hotel site)
Berks County Tax Parcel Viewer


Project started as an update to my reference page: 02-07-2010....
Created: 02-11-2010
Modified: 02-18-2010
Last Update: .